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Fraser Valley buses back on the road Aug. 6 with free transit for the month | CBC News


B.C. Transit says regular bus service in the Fraser Valley will resume in just over a week with a new labour deal ratified.

In a statement, B.C. Transit said conventional buses will be running as of Aug. 6, and typical handyDART services will be back July 31. HandyDART passengers can begin booking trips immediately.

Transit service will be free for August.

“B.C. Transit and our local government partners want to thank everyone for their patience during the service disruption and look forward to welcoming customers onboard again for free in the month of August,” the agency’s statement read.

A man stands by a camping chair and picket signs for a bus driver's strike in front of a chain link fence.
A CUPE worker on the picket lines in the summer. (Justine Boulin/CBC)

Public transit in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison, Agassiz, Hope and several smaller communities has been on hold since March 20. The strike ended on July 21 when CUPE Local 561 workers voted to ratify a new labour agreement with B.C. Transit contractor First Transit.

At 124 days, the Fraser Valley work stoppage was the second-longest transit strike in B.C. history: longer than Metro Vancouver’s 123-day bus strike in 2001 but shorter than the 136-day strike in the Sea-to-Sky region, affecting Squamish, Whistler and other communities.

Some HandyDART services — renal dialysis, cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis appointments — were deemed essential and unaffected by the strike.

The strike had an outsized impact on certain members of the Fraser Valley community, including students, who struggled to get to classes and exams.

Veteran labour mediator Vince Ready — who also helped bring the Sea-to-Sky strike to an end — became involved in negotiations in June.

Fraser Valley drivers with CUPE were seeking better wages, closer to their counterparts in Metro Vancouver who drive for the Coast Mountain Bus Company.


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